Asian Americans Shared Superstitions They Follow, And Wow, I Won't Be Giving Shoes As Gifts

It's October, otherwise known as #SpookySzn, and I, like most people, am excited about all the things that fall and Halloween bring.

Halloween has been a long time coming, and people have been enthusiastic for a few months already. It feels like the second you start seeing Spirit Halloween stores pop up, it's time to start thinking about costumes, decorations, and candy choices.

This got me thinking: What would be a fun way to get people even more into the spooky spirit?

Graphic of the moon, butterflies, shoes in a case, a hot beverage, and chopsticks in food

What is something that can bring us together and also teach us more about different cultures? Superstitions.

Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed

So I reached out to our community on A*Pop, BuzzFeed's AAPI identity brand, to ask about cultural superstitions they know and possibly follow.

Starting off the conversation, I shared a superstition that I've followed my entire life, courtesy of my Filipino mother (Hi, Mom!):

Here are some of the responses we received:

1.Sleeping With the Fan On

2.Chopsticks Sticking Straight Up in Your Food

Chopsticks resting on the side of a bowl filled with noodles

"OMG, chopsticks cannot be stuck straight up in your food! I don't want to attract dead spirits to my home. 😭😭😭"


Having chopsticks sticking straight up in your food is seen as a taboo in Chinese culture because it reminds people of incense used at funerals.

Carlo A / Getty Images

3.Stepping Over People

View from the ground of someone jumping over something outdoors

"You can't step over people or they'll stop growing and be short forever. If you do, you have to step back over them in the opposite direction."


Pongmoji / Getty Images / iStockphoto

4.Turning Your Plate

5.Deceased Relatives With Butterflies and Dreams

Anna Salmi / Via

"A superstition I remember is something about butterflies being the souls of our dead loved ones who are visiting! Oh, and if a dead relative comes to you in your dreams, they aren't at peace."


6.Taking a Ring Off Someone's Finger

A hand holding a ring between thumb and middle finger

"I was told that you can’t take a ring off of someone’s finger or else you won’t have a good relationship with that person anymore!"


Nafis Safiai / Getty Images / EyeEm

7.Letting Food Cool Before Refrigerating

8.Gifting Someone With Shoes

Woman holding a boot from a box

"Also, you can’t give other people shoes because if you do, they’ll walk out of your life with that same pair of shoes! If you do give someone shoes as a gift, have them give you $1 so it technically isn’t a gift."


Oscar Wong / Getty Images

9.Dropping Cutlery

Several bowls of food, a glass of water, and utensils on a table

"My parents always said that if someone dropped a fork on the ground, then you’d have a male visitor come by, and if it’s a spoon, then it would be a female visitor."


Oscar Wong / Getty Images

10.Asking for Permission From Spirits to Avoid Their Wrath

What are superstitions that you know and possibly follow? Let us know in the comments below!

Be sure to follow A*Pop on Twitter and Instagram for more AAPI-centered content!

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